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" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin : and yet I say unto 
you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 



pa*. To 




The present work originated in the following circumstance : — on visiting 
the studio of Mons. Durlet, the architect of Antwerp cathedral and designer 
of the new stalls, I was exceedingly struck by the beauty of a capital cast 
in plaster, hanging amongst a variety of models, which appeared to be a fine 
work of the thirteenth century. On asking if he would allow me to have a 
squeeze from it, he readily consented, but at the same time informed me, to 
my great surprise, that the foliage of which it was composed had been 
gathered from his garden, and by him cast and adjusted in a geometrical 
form round a capital composed of pointed mouldings. This gave me an 
entirely new view of medieval carving ; and, pursuing the subject, I became 
fully convinced that the finest foliage work in the Gothic buildings were all 
close approximations to nature, and that their peculiar character was chiefly 
owing to the manner of their arrangement and disposition.* During the 
same journey I picked up a leaf of dried thistle from a foreign ship unloading 
at Havre, and I have never seen a more beautiful specimen of what we should 

* See the doorway into the chapter-house at Southwell Minster, where the capitals, hollows, &c. 
are encircled with leaves of various plants, most naturally wrought. Many of the capitals of the 
lateral shafts in the Sainte Chape lie at Paris are composed of branches of rose trees, exquisitely 
worked from the natural plants. Instances of similar enrichments can be multiplied without number, 
from the first pointed down to the latest period. 


usually term Gothic foliage : the extremities of the leaves turned over so as 
to produce the alternate interior and exterior fibres, exactly as they are 
worked in carved pannels of the fifteenth century, or depicted in illuminated 
borders. The more carefully I examined the productions of the medieval 
artists, in glass painting, decorative sculpture, or metal work, the more fully 
I was convinced of their close adherence to natural forms. 

At the beginning of this work I have introduced a plate of glass 
remains, taken from antient examples in the Kentish churches ; and also a 
variety of painted enrichments from various churches in Norfolk and 
Suffolk,* which will fully justify this assertion. It is absurd, therefore, to 
talk of Gothic foliage. The foliage is natural, and it is the adaptation and 
disposition of it which stamps the style. The great difference between 
antient and modern artists in their adaptation of nature for decorative 
purposes, is as follows. The former disposed the leaves and flowers of 
which their design was composed into geometrical forms and figures, care- 
fully arranging the stems and component parts so as to fill up the space they 
were intended to enrich ; and they were represented in such a manner as 
not to destroy the consistency of the peculiar feature or object they were 
employed to decorate, by merely imitative rotundity or shadow ; for instance, 
a pannel, which by its very construction is flat, would be ornamented by 
leaves or flowers drawn out or extended, so as to display their geometrical 
forms on a flat surface. While, on the other hand, a modern painter would 

* A vast deal of wood-work, richly painted and gilt, is still remaining in the parish churches in 
these counties, principally on chancel screens. The most remarkable examples are at Ranworth, 
Trunch, Cawston, Worsted, and Southwold. The flowers and foliage are most gracefully depicted ; 
the natural forms and outlines being accurately preserved. Many of the pannelled ceilings in these 
churches are decorated in a similar manner, with garlands of leaves and flowers branching out into 
the angles of the mouldings. 


endeavour to give a fictitious idea of relief, as if bunches of flowers were 
laid on, and, by dint of shadow and foreshortening;, an appearance of cavity 
or projection would be produced on a feature which architectural consistency 
would require to be treated as a plane ; and instead of a well-defined, 
clear, and beautiful enrichment, in harmony with the construction of the 
part, an irregular and confused effect is produced, at utter variance with 
the main design. 

The present work has been produced for the dissemination of these 
principles, and to assist in removing the reproach of mere servile imitation, 
so often cast on those who work after the antient manner. Nature supplied 
the medieval artists with all their forms and ideas ; the same inexhaustible 
source is open to us : and if we go to the fountain head, we shall produce 
a multitude of beautiful designs treated in the same spirit as the old, but new 
in form. We have the advantage of many important botanical discoveries 
which were unknown to our ancestors ; and surely it is in accordance with 
the true principles of art, to avail ourselves of all that is beautiful for the 
composition of our designs. 

I trust, therefore, that this work may be the means of leading designers 
back to first principles ; and that as by repeated copying the spirit of the 
original work is liable to be lost, so in decoration the constant reproduction 
of old patterns, without reference to the natural type for which they were 
composed, leads to debased forms and spiritless outline, and in the end to a 
mere caricature of a beautiful original. It is impossible to improve on the 
works of God ; and the natural outlines of leaves, flowers, &c. must be 
more perfect and beautiful than any invention of man. As I have stated 
above, the great skill of the antient artists was in the adaptation and 
disposition of their forms. The present effort can only be considered as a 


mere sketch of what can be produced on those principles. As the patterns 
are principally intended for stencilling, those colours most in use have been 
selected ; but in many cases the natural colour as well as form would greatly 
improve the effect. As regards the nomenclature of the plants, &c. selected, 
I have taken it from a very curious and beautiful old botanical work, entitled, 
" Tabernse montanus eicones Plantarum," printed at Francfort in 1590. 
If there are any errors or singularities in any of the names engraved on the 
plates, they are taken from the work in question, as I am unfortunately 
not sufficiently learned in botany to distinguish any mistake in these 


St. Augustine's, Ramsgate, 

Feast of St. Michael, 1849. 



1. — Frontispiece. 
2.— Title Page. 

3.— Glass Quarrels for Old Kentish Churches. 
4. — Examples of Ancient Floriated Ornament. 

5. — 1. Oxys floribus enteis ; 2. Cyperus dulcis Theophrasti; 3. Absinthium marinum ; 4. Acarna 
Theophrasti Anguillarse ; 5 . Iva muschata. 

6. — 1. Caryophyllus montanus; 2. Lychnis sylvestris purpurea; 3. Camphorata Monspelica ; 4; Viola 
Martia purpurea ; 5. Lychnis arvensis. 

7. — 1. Pyromelo ; 2. Colocynthus mas; 3. Finnaria latifolia major; 4. Thlaspi Pannonicum ; 

5. Primula veris. 
8. — 1. Spartium Hispaniarum ; 2. Cytisus cornutus; 3. Anemone major alba; 4. Genista; 

5. Cytisus adulterinus. 
9. — 1. Cucumis Turcicus; 2. Ornithogalum luteum ; 3. Absinthium album; 4. Narcissus polyan- 
thus Matthioli; 5. Leucotum violaceum. 
10 — Sonchus sylvaticus ; 2. Reseda latifolia; 3. Anemones Chalcedonica major; 4. Ruta tenuifolia; 

5. Scabiosa major. 
11. — 1. Scabiosa major Hispanica ; 2. Filipendula montana ; 3. Artemisia Dioscoridis; 4. Fragrum 

trifolium fragiferum ; 5. Eufrasia ccerulea. 
12. — 1. Geranium Rupertianum ; 2. Caryophyllus Carthusianorum ; 3. Geranium arvense; 4. Lychnis 

plumaria; 5. Jacea alba. 
13. — 1. Viola Martia arborescens lutea; 2. Viola Martia purpurea multiplex; 3. Fumaria bulbosa ; 

4. Viola petrae lutea multiplex ; 5. Ocymastrum rubrum. 

14. — 1 . Ranunculus sylvestris minor ; 2. Viola canina ; 3. Absinthium ponticum Galeni ; 4. Carda- 
mine trifolia; 5. Viola hyemalis. 

15. — 1. Phalangium Narbonense ; 2. Hieracium minus Dioscorides; 3. Thalictrum Herba Sophia lati- 
folia; 4. Chondrilla alba; 5. Sonchus lenis angustifolia. 

16. — 1. Rosa Englenteria ; 2. Rosa muscata alba; 3. Libanotis ; 4. Cistus Ledon myrtifolium ; 

5. Herba Benedicta. 

17. — 1. Sonchus asper; 2. Ranunculus dulcis; 3. Artemisia tenuifolia; 4. Frumentum anyleum; 
5. Phalangium non ramosum. 

18. — 1. Auricula ursi; 2. Origanum Heracleoticum ; 3. Aquifolium ; 4. Telephium purpureum; 
5. Heliotropium minus. 



19. — 1. Chamasitea; 2. Iva muschata; 3. Brassica Anglica; 4. Lychnis plumaria; 5. Lychnis 

20. — 1. Calamintha amensis ; 2. Thlaspi minus clypeotum; 3. Abrotanum humile; 4. Vulnaria; 
5. Cramen aquaticum. 

21. — 1. Maiorana sive Amaricus major; 2. Viola lunaris; 3. Flos Aphricanus minor flore simplici ; 
4. Nasturtium petrseum ; 5. Tormentilla consolida rubra. 

22. — 1. Ocymastrum rubrum; 2. Lychnis sylvestris; 3. Absinthium montanum seu Romanum ; 

4. Vaccaria; 5. Flos cuculi. 

23. — 1 . Cramen vulgare ; 2. Filipendula Saxifraga rubra; 3. Buphtalmum; 4. Lychnis plumaria; 

5. Herba articularis. 

24. — 1. Lilium Saracenicum; 2. Persoonia flexifolia; 3. Fuchsia gracilis; 4. Sytyrium triphyllon ; 

5. Lilium album; 6. Triorchis major mas; 7» Ribes triflorum; 8. Carduus lanceolatus ; 

9. Bryngium Alpinum cceruleum. 
25. — 1. Fumaria bulbosa; 2. Fumaria bulbosa ; 3. Fumaria bulbosa; 4. Geranium violaceum ; 

5. Curcubita largenaria major. 
26. — 1. Dipsacus ; 2. Carduus lanceolatus ; 3. Melanthium agreste Nigella arvensis ; 4. Periclimenum ; 

5. Tithymalus minimus. 

27. — 1. Hex coccifera; 2. Fumaria latifolia minor; 3. Quinquefolium Theophrasti; 4. Hypericum 

Alexandrinum ; 5. Jasminium cceruleum. 
28. — 1. Trifolium bituminosum ; 2. Trifolium cordatum ; 3. Cumerium sylvestre ; 4. Oxys floribus luteis ; 

5. Fragum trifolium. 
29. — 1. Alsine hedezacea; 2. Plantago aquatica minor; 3. Malva arborea; 4. Tithymalus pazalius 

Matholi; 5. Arcania Theophrasti; 6. Chrysosplenon ; 7« Saxifraga alba. 
30. — 1. Holostium umbellatum; 2. Herba benedicta; 3. Lysimachia minor; 4. Convolvus coeruleus ; 

5. Panaces costinum; 6. Soldanella; 7« Hypericum Alexandrinum; 8. Volubilis major. 
31. — 1. Lilium marinum album; 2. Narcissus juncifolius ; 3. Narcissus medioluteus; 4. Cytisus 

aduterinus ; 5. Pseudonarcissus luteus ; 6. Ledum Alpinum ; 7- Vitis idsea IV. ; 8. Narcissus 

medioluteus; 9. Cytysus I.; 10. Tithymalus amygdaloides. 

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